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I am writing my bachelor dissertation and several times Microsoft Word has corrected me from "to have" to "having". One of the sentences, for instance, goes like this:

The author recommends to have ‘(...)'. Bugeja further recommends having a student blog where prospective...

Can anyone enlighten me?

marked as duplicate by choster, Kristina Lopez, FumbleFingers, Brian Hooper, aedia λ Dec 5 '13 at 22:17

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  • @choster: Agreed - but unless I'm much mistaken, the answer there doesn't specifically mention recommend (which I personally think sounds dated/archaic with the infinitive, but inarguably both forms do occur). – FumbleFingers Dec 4 '13 at 1:37
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Particular English verbs require particular kinds of grammatical structure for their objects.

If the person who is to take the action is expressed, Recommend takes either a that clause or an infinitive:

I recommend that you read this carefully.

I recommend you to read this carefully.

But if the person is not expressed, it takes a noun phrase with a gerund (-ing) form:

I recommend reading this carefully.

There is no point in looking for a reason for this: it just happens to be a fact about the word recommend in current English. (Require and advise have the same pattern; suggest is similar, but won't take the to form; want takes only the to form).

  • Colin's explanation is quite clear. I agree with him. It is especially important to remember that recommend, suggest, advise and propose all function this way (like recommend+verb+ing), when they mean advise someone to do something. However, these words may mean others and such usage of gerund can be wrong. – Jiancheng Zou Dec 5 '13 at 1:59

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